This past, rainy Labour Day long weekend in Vancouver I took advantage of the grey skies and opted to take in the latest Dutch Masters exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Having studied the content from this exact offering last semester I was looking forward to seeing the works in person~ and in my own back yard, so to speak (no Rijksmuseum for me this year). However, once inside the beautiful historical building I was instead immediately taken with a very different exhibit on display. Having not read or even heard anything about it previously I was curious as we made our way, physically, through Reece Terris' installation, Ought Apartment.
The installation features six life sized apartments stacked on top of one another in the gallery's central rotunda, starting in the 1950s and traveling through each decade until the present day 2000s. Each "apartment" features a living room, kitchen and bathroom furnished and styled from the appropriate decade and while some you can move through and touch, others you can only look at from strategic viewpoints on the side of the rotunda. The piece instantly gripped me, for here was a physical rendering of the history of the home, from the time of my grandparents (just starting out, with my Dad as a wee babe) through to my parents (and my own childhood) up to the present day.
It's hard to describe how profoundly this piece moved me, because half of these representations I myself never lived in (50s, 60s, 70s). However, I still felt like I was in an amazing time warp as I was being taken through the spaces and personal lives of people I felt I knew, trying to understand the lives they led and the intricacies of their home life. I found myself in a mystery~ who were these people? what did they do? did they have children? was this a normal home or were they more affluent? were they happy here? what will the typical home look like in another decade?
If you live in Vancouver I strongly urge you to visit the VAG in the next (eek) 12 days before the installation ends September 20th to experience Terris' incredible work yourself. Also, besides Ought Apartment and the Dutch Masters, the gallery also has several fantastic photography exhibits on now as well. This was my favourite. Don't wait for rain; visit today.